Ranking the Best Internet Value in U.S. States

Ranking U.S. States with the Best Internet Value

Over the years, access to the internet has grown extensively. However, the speed and affordability of internet services can significantly differ from one region to another, both globally and domestically within the United States.

Surfshark has created an engaging data visualization that showcases the states with the best and worst internet value, based on the data compiled for their 2022 Internet Value Index.

Calculating Value

What criteria should be used to determine the “best” internet value?

Surfshark has come up with the Internet Value Index that evaluates U.S. states on the basis of broadband and mobile internet. The index considers the balance between speed and affordability, where speed refers to the rate of data transfer and affordability refers to the cost of internet services.

    • Internet Speed: The average download speeds between Q3 of 2021 and Q2 of 2022.
    • Internet Affordability: The average monthly price of a standard internet or data package divided by the average hourly net wage in each state.

The index value of each state is determined by dividing the speed by the affordability of both broadband and mobile internet. This is then normalized over the maximum value of 1.0.

Which States Have the Best Internet Value?

According to Surfshark’s recent study, there are significant differences in internet access between rural and urban states, emphasizing the digital divide in the United States. Surfshark has compiled a comprehensive list of internet index rankings for all 50 U.S. states in 2022.

State Internet Value Rank Broadband Value Rank Mobile Value Rank Region
New Jersey 1 1 2 Northeast
Massachusetts 2 2 3 Northeast
New York 3 4 1 Northeast
Rhode Island 4 7 4 Northeast
Washington 5 9 6 West
Maryland 6 12 7 South
Delaware 7 10 8 South
Connecticut 8 5 10 Northeast
Illinois 9 11 9 Midwest
California 10 8 11 West
Hawaii 11 3 22 West
Minnesota 12 26 5 Midwest
Pennsylvania 13 14 12 Northeast
Texas 14 6 27 South
Utah 15 20 13 West
Colorado 16 25 14 West
Ohio 17 17 16 Midwest
Arizona 18 18 17 West
Michigan 19 27 15 Midwest
North Carolina 20 13 29 South
Oregon 21 22 19 West
New Hampshire 22 15 31 Northeast
Indiana 23 24 24 Midwest
Georgia 24 19 28 South
South Carolina 25 16 33 South
Tennessee 26 21 30 South
North Dakota 27 29 21 Midwest
Nevada 28 33 20 West
Florida 29 30 25 South
Missouri 30 35 23 Midwest
Kansas 31 28 26 Midwest
Virginia 32 44 18 South
Wisconsin 33 34 34 Midwest
Kentucky 34 31 36 South
Nebraska 35 23 47 Midwest
South Dakota 36 40 32 Midwest
Alabama 37 32 41 South
Maine 38 36 39 Northeast
Oklahoma 39 38 42 South
Louisiana 40 37 45 South
Idaho 41 42 37 West
Iowa 42 41 44 Midwest
Alaska 43 48 35 West
New Mexico 44 45 38 West
Vermont 45 43 43 Northeast
West Virginia 46 39 49 South
Montana 47 50 40 West
Arkansas 48 47 48 South
Wyoming 49 49 46 West
Mississippi 50 46 50 South

According to recent data, the states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York offer the best value for internet services. With fixed broadband speeds exceeding 37 Mbps per hour of work at the average net state wage and mobile speeds of 5 Mbps or higher, workers in these states can enjoy reliable and fast internet services.

Mississippi, Wyoming, and Arkansas are at the opposite end of the index when it comes to value services. These states offer some of the lowest quality services with workers receiving download speeds of 16 Mbps or less per hour of work for broadband, and mobile speeds of 2 Mbps or lower, according to the same ratio.

The Northeast seems to be leading the pack with five of the top 10 states, while the West and South are lagging behind with eight of the bottom 10 states. The contrast in regional performance is quite apparent.

It’s worth noting that despite being the second-best region for internet value, the Midwest still falls below the national average. This underscores the fact that wealthier and more densely populated states continue to enjoy a disproportionate share of the value generated by the internet, leaving others behind.

Internet For All?

The economic impact of internet affordability, or the lack thereof, is becoming increasingly apparent in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent study by the IMF, high-speed internet has become an essential factor for socioeconomic inclusion, enabling individuals to access work opportunities, education, and various services.

With the increasing number of remote work and study setups, having access to affordable and high-quality internet has become even more essential. This is because workplaces and schools now rely heavily on online communication and collaboration tools, making a stable internet connection crucial for productivity and success.

As a part of Visual Capitalist’s Creator Program, this article showcases data-driven visuals created by some of our favorite Creators from around the world.

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